Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Intermarriage - Interview with R' Meir Abehsera

Guest Post: Recipients and Publicity's comment on "Non-Jewish prostitutes - how serious a sin?":

Now we know one important reason that there are so many more Jewish single women and one of the big factors behind the so-called "shidduch crisis" -- it's because Jewish men of all stripes have access to easy-to-have gentile women in the open societies.

I have always been intrigued by an article I read based on an interview with Meir Abehsera, I believe he is a French Sephardic Lubavitcher, but I don't know what happened to him and he's been up to lately, maybe Jersey girl can help me out here. Doing a Google search I see that he is still active but lives in Jerusalem, according to The Jewish Journal "January 10, 2008, The possible Jew" ("Abehsera, it seems, has always loved a good story. Eventually, he developed an urge to write these stories down. So in the mid-1990s, while living in Los Angeles with his wife and seven children, he began writing a personal meditation on his life and ideas inspired by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, which became a book called "The Possible Man." Now, out of Jerusalem, he is putting the finishing touches on his longtime labor of love: a film version of "The Possible Man," as his lasting tribute to the Rebbe. Talk about a possible man: A Sephardic Jew from a famous rabbinic family journeys with the French literary crowd, immerses himself in the curative world of a Japanese mystic and ends up as the cherished prince of a Chasidic movement.") And The Jewish Homemaker Shavous 5757 / June 1997 has this from him: "Abehsera, 63, was born in Morocco to the Abuhatzeira family, a clan known for their tzadikim and mystics, the most famous of whom was Yisrael Abuhatzeira zt"l, the "Baba Sali," leader of the Moroccan Jewish community who died in Israel in 1984. The family moved to France when Meir/Michel was a teenager.")

Anyhow, he gave a brilliant interview in 1995 about the whole mystique of Jews being attracted to non-Jews that I thought I would repost it here. Wishing everyone a Kesiva VeChasima Tova!:


An Interview with Meir Abehsera

Nefesh Magazine (Nefesh - The Jewish Soul Vol 111, No. 1, 1995 / 5755: pages 21 - 23)

(Meir Abehsera, author of Cooking for Life and The Possible Man was born in Morocco and educated in France.)

(Full article at http://www.jpi.org/nefesh.htm )

Assimilation, intermarriage and a plummeting birthrate cause demographers and statisticians to produce gloomy forecasts for the Jewish people. Nefesh interviews macrobiotic figure Meir Abehsera on the spiritual causes of intermarriage.

Nefesh: For quite a while the trend has been for Jews to intermarry. What are the reasons for this?

Meir Abehsera: It's not enough to find a reason, and even if you tell it to a person who wants to intermarry, he won't accept it. Even if he has some guilt and feels some shame, you have to realize he's presently living with this nice non-Jewish woman and doesn't want to hurt her feelings. His is a very human act. Anyone who's going to tell him to separate himself from her is going to seem like a barbarian.

Why is all this intermarriage occurring?

It isn't so easy to marry a Jew. It is seen as a commitment, whereas when you marry a non-Jew you're opting for an easier route. His decision flows with the warmth of his blood, whereas with Judaism you have to tighten your belt and go to work until you are a hundred and twenty years old. [...]


  1. Thank you for this RaP. This post is very well stated.

    Meir Abehsera lives in Jerusalem with his wife and has been making documentaries for the past decade.

    Before moving to Jerusalem, while living in NY, the Abehseras did not live in Crown Heights, but instead chose to live in the Sephardic community of Flatbush.

    This might explain why you have not read anything for many years about Abehsera who was once, a great proponent of Chabad and the Rebbe of Lubavitch. As much as Abehsera was a proponent of Chabad, Chabad was also a promoter of Abehsera.

  2. Meir Abehsera is currently, not only "once," a great proponent of Chabad and the Rebbe of Lubavitch. He is a great chasid who brought about 2000 Jews to Torah and Mitzvos (this is a real number, not an exaggeration). He is a person of pure intent and refined personal qualities. He lives in Jerusalem, may he be well for many more years until bias hamoshiach.


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